Holy motherfucking shit, guys.
I fully expected that I would be spending all of my time writing this post with a lot of snark and cynicism. The whole thing opened up with Stupid Rick chasing Stupid Lori’s Stupid Ghost outside the fence of the prison and I just wanted to yell out, “SO STUPID!” over and over again.
Because guess what? No one has ever wanted to watch a zombie show about a guy who keeps seeing the Greek chorus cosplay version of his dead wife that no one ever liked in the first place. People want to watch a zombie show full of, I don’t know, zombies?
Yes! Finally the scene that no one was asking for!!
This being The Walking Dead it still took them forever to get to that aspect of the show, but at loooong last we were finally treated to another great scene of zombie action and a reason to actually stick around for another few episodes.
There was a lot of build up, though, with Rick chasing Lori for no reason, then a lot of strategizing and theorizing about whether or not the Governor would be attacking, whether they should stay in the prison or go somewhere else, and whether Glenn is being a good guy for wondering if his girlfriend had been raped or if he’s just being an asshole who’s concerned that another man have played with his toys.
The Governor tries to convince Andrea that she should be the leader, then he tells that one nerd guy that he should keep tabs on her so he and Martinez and a couple of extras that can be killed off without anyone noticing can sneak out of Woodbury and go for “supplies.”
Andrea is clearly worried that I've let this new GIF game go on too far already...
Meanwhile, Merle and Daryl walk through the woods a lot getting into cute brotherly fights, all of which culminates at the bridge over YELLOW JACKET CREEK where we finally see some Zombie Action and we remember why we got into this genre in the first place.
Do the brothers save the strangers?
What happens if the strangers are Mexican and Merle is a racist?
How awesome is it to kill a zombie by shutting a hatchback on its head?
Answers: Yes, Merle is a dick, and very awesome.
I have watched this loop 300 times and I'm still not bored.
The only thing disappointing me in that scene is that it reminded me of the sequence from the Telltale Games episode where your gang of survivors meets more strangers on a bridge, and I was kind of hoping that we’d have a tie in. Instead the Mexican family drives away and we’re left to wonder where they'll go and what kind of adventures they'll have with their baby.
And back at the prison Rick is still being SUPER BORING and everyone else is still pretending that it’s very important to have a leader all the damn time. Herschel is worried, so he hobbles down to the fence of the prison and starts yelling out Rick’s name into the woods. Rick hears him, comes back to the prison, and confesses that he’s been seeing Lori and Shane. “Are you coming back soon?” Herschel asks.
“I’ve been…” Rick says, trailing off. “I’ve got… stuff out here… stuff.” And he turns around and starts looking for answers by chasing crazy visions.
Prison Guy Whose Name I Can’t Remember and Carol are hanging out, talking about how awesome it was to live in prison because there were rules and shit, and then BOOM! Prison Guy gets shot from out of nowhere and I pat myself on the back because now I’ll never need to worry about learning his name because he’s all sorts of dead.
His name is Robert Paulson. No, actually it's Axel.
How did that guy get shot? The Governor! And Martinez! And then some dude that somehow got up into the guard tower of the prison without anyone noticing! And I think someone else, who was driving the Governor’s truck and then got killed but the Governor didn’t care.
Then the Prison Group and the Woodbury Soldiers shoot at each other and it feels a lot like G.I. Joe from the ‘80s because they keep firing and firing and firing but no one ever gets hit. They didn’t add in red and blue laser streaks, but other than that it was definitely one of those cartoons.
Pew Pew Pew! "I totally got you!" "Nuh uh!" "Yuh huh!"
But still, it was awesome. They’ve strayed from the comic a lot already, so there was real tension in that scene, even for readers who had been familiar with the original prison storyline. Rick was obviously going to survive his little zombie four way action, but Herschel, Maggie, Glen or Carol all could have taken a bullet. And I realized that I didn’t want them to. I actually cared about whether or not they made it out of that predicament alive! You guys, that’s massive.
Then we hear the truck noise as it barrels through the fences and there’s a pause, and I imagine we were all wondering what was going on. Was it Andrea, there to join the Prison Group? Was it Woody Harrelson delivering the last batch of Twinkies ever?
No! It was some random person in armor delivering a shipment of walkers inside the prison walls! It’s not as final as a big assault with a tank, but it’s a pretty great attack and a very strong way of saying “Fuck you!” to the people who live inside that prison.
Walker delivery service!
Meanwhile three zombies keep threatening to make out with Rick until Daryl and Merle save him, then Michonne kills a lot of zombies too, but now that the gates have been smashed there are still more and more walkers filling in the space between the outer fence and the presumably safe section of the prison where the rest of the group are. How are Rick, Daryl and Merle going to get over there???
Probably by making a run for it, yelling, and hitting a lot of zombies in the head, but we’ll have to wait until next week to find out for certain.
So yeah, there are still plenty of things for haters to hate in that episode, but all in all it was actually fun again. Things happened. There were zombies. And there’s actually a pretty good set up for the next episode, and the rest of the season, with all sorts of fun questions to play out.
Should the Prison Group make a counter attack against Woodbury?
Will the Woodbury Soldiers come back to finish the job?
If Andrea dies in Woodbury, will she and Ghost Lori hang out at bonfires with Shane and T-Dog, and will Rick wink at them and give them a knowing smile while he burns his dad’s body with a tribe of teddy bears?
And why didn’t someone at AMC notice that they had clearly reversed the image when they were showing scenes from next week’s episode and it made it look like the Governor’s left eye had been injured instead of his right??
He's probably just looking in a mirror, but still. It felt odd as the last bit of Walking Dead we saw before a promo for Freak Show.
Sound off in the comments below and join us again next week, when Devin will chime in on all of the new action.